The art of visual storytelling is why I fell in love with photography. Over the years, I have had the privilege of telling many stories - tales of love, marriage, travel, new life and family dynamics, culminating in a visual collection that is this blog. I invite and encourage you to get lost in these stories and delve into this visual narrative of life!

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More than Minis: what makes our Holiday Styled Sessions so different

10/07/19

“Are Styled Sessions the same as mini sessions?” NO. We get asked this ALL the time, so we thought it’d be a good idea to highlight the differences between our Styled Sessions and “minis” you see promoted by other photographers this time of year. We’ll be doing a short series over the next week going through the ins and outs of what goes into our Styled Sessions, what makes them different from minis and most importantly, what you can expect when booking one of these exclusive, limited edition sessions.

1. The Artistry

What makes our Holiday Styled Sessions different from “minis?” Creative, artistic imagery in a uniquely designed, custom built set. We start planning months in advance for these exclusive sessions, building our set from scratch. Using a combination of high quality faux greenery in combo with real greenery gives a realistic feel. We source handmade props that feels purposeful, not cheesy. Intricate lighting and interactive sets bring the images to life. We want your family’s holiday portraits to stand apart from the crowd when those holiday cards start rolling in.


But more than impressing your friends with the coolest family portraits, we recognize that for many, this will be THE ONE PORTRAIT captured of the entire family for the whole year. And that’s a big deal. With this in mind, we always design a versatile and neutral toned set, allowing us to also create timeless, classic images that can be displayed in your home year round.

2. The Experience

You’ve spent weeks picking outfits. You’re hair/make-up is professionally done. You arrive at the park, quickly change your youngest in the backseat of the car because they threw up on the way here. You’re now 5 minutes late. Kids are screaming bloody murder and one of them needs to go to the bathroom. You’re session starts. You are trying to smile and look gorgeous while simultaneously freezing your a** off, because, well, it’s November. And oh yeah. There’s like 10 other photographers at the same park all doing family portraits. Before you can blink, your 20 minutes are up and you’re thinking “ummmmm, what just happened?!?”

Sound familiar?

Let’s be real here. 20 minutes is basically NOTHING. In fact, many kids need 10 minutes just to warm up to the camera. Lessons learned from experience, which is why this year, we’ve extended our Styled Sessions to an entire 45 minutes with an additional 15 minute buffer. That’s an entire HOUR – just for YOUR FAMILY.

Creating amazing images takes time + patience, especially when working with children. We feel that our clients deserve to have the same level of artistry from us year round, especially since for many families, this will be the one family portrait taken for the entire year. Our warm and comfortable Studio allows us to photograph in any type of weather and gives you a designated changing area, access to a bathroom and even a much need caffeinated Nespesso to power through the rest of the day…nummmmm!

3. The Product

Raise your hand if you’ve had a family portrait taken, received the digital images, walked away with all these grand ideas for wall displays and albums you were going to DIY. Fast forward 5 years and you’re scratching your head wondering what drawer you put that archaic CD in and will it still work if and when you can find a computer that still takes CDs!

We get it. You love your family and any images of them are precious. But it’s time to be realistic. Are you going to print 30, 20 or even 10 images from one session to put on display in your home? Do you even have the time to do that? If you are the magical unicorn that actually prints out photos on a regular basis, our hats are off to you! The reality is that majority of our clients are juggling so many things on their plates, figuring out how, where and what to display from their portrait session is the last thing on their never-ending to-do list.

Our Holiday Styled Session Collections combine the best of both worlds, giving you professionally printed products and digital images. With choices like holiday cards, gift prints with framing, and our to our brand new Winter Tales Album that allows your child to become a part of a beloved holiday storybook, you can walk away from your holiday portrait session knowing that you have

  • portraits to enjoy and display in your home
  • holiday cards checked off your list
  • gifts for the grandparents
  • all the memories of this season safely on your computer

It’s time to make holiday portraits part of the joy this season.


Michelle Lindsay is an award-winning, fine art wedding photographer, specializing in artistic and documentary wedding and engagement photos, including destination weddings. Although she loves to tell passionate engagement and wedding stories, her award-winning work also includes family portraits, maternity photos, and pictures of newborns and children. Michelle serves the entire Washington, D.C. area and beyond, including Arlington, Alexandria, McLean, Vienna, Great Falls, and all of Loudoun County – particularly Middleburg, Leesburg, Aldie, Ashburn, and Purcellville.  To schedule a consultation with Michelle, please contact her at: 202.257.7993

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